« AnteriorContinuar »
where he always presided, he was truly a burning and a shining light. But, however hard to realize the thought, he is gone! Heaven has so decreed! and it becomes blind mortals to submit. Oh! let us be thankful to God that we have enjoyed him so long! Let us call to mind, and rightly improve, the advantages with which we have been favoured, and endeavour to imbibe that temper, and imitate those virtues, that dwelt so richly in him. Oh, that a double portion of his spirit might rest upon all the ministers of Christ! That those, especially in this state, to whom he has been so kind a father and benefactor, would consider how loudly God, by this providence, calls us to engagedness in his cause-knowing that the time of our departure is at hand. Let us learn to put our trust in that God who is able to take care of his church without us, or those who are more eminent in gifts and grace, and who worketh all things according to the counsel of his own will. Amen.
MR. HAYNES'S LABOURS BEYOND THE LIMITS OF HIS PARISH.
Ir is no easy task to estimate the amount of good effected by the ministers of Christ, especially by those pastors whose labours are abundant beyond the bounds of their respective societies. It is indeed a privilege of inestimable worth to be the instrument of building up a single church, and of witnessing revival after revival, in which many sinners are converted to God and gathered into the church. Mr. Haynes was not an insulated individual, whose influence was limited to pa
rochial bounds. In the early part of his ministry he had more calls to labour as a preacher at funerals and on special occasions than any other minister in the region.
As his early days were spent in agricultural pursuits, he took much delight in this kind of labour. The expenses of his numerous family and his hospitality required that large portions of time should be employed in manual labour. He was often called from the field to the pulpit. A young man, from the adjoining town of Castleton, calling to engage his services on a funeral occasion, was directed to the field where he was labouring. The young gentleman went accordingly, and meeting Mr. Haynes in his field-dress, and not suspecting him to be the preacher, said to him, "Can you tell me, sir, where I can find Mr. Haynes ?" He replied, "My name is Haynes."—"No," said the young man, "I mean Mr. Haynes the preacher."-"I try to preach sometimes," said Mr. Haynes.
He was ready at a moment's notice to exchange his field garments for a clerical but plain attire, and to stand as "the legate of the skies" among deeply-afflicted mourners.
In 1804 he was appointed by the Connecticut Missionary Society to labour in the destitute sections of Vermont. In 1809 he was appointed to a similar service by the Vermont Missionary Society. A minute journal of these missionary tours would furnish materials for the historian, instruction to young missionaries, and improvement to all. In that early period of home missions a wide field was occupied by a single missionary, and the labours of a few weeks were distributed among a number of destitute churches. A single fact,
which faithful memory has rescued from oblivion, will illustrate the untiring diligence of Mr. Haynes, as well as his aptness at original and amusing remarks. Travelling in the northern parts of Vermont, at a season when the business of the husbandman was pressing, but the business of the missionary infinitely more so, he sent forward an appointment to preach a sermon on the morning of a week day. On his arrival at the place he was extremely grieved to learn that his lecture had not been properly notified, and that some of the people had come to the conclusion that they could not find time to attend a religious meeting. "Can't find time to go to meeting?" said Mr. Haynes; "do people ever die here in St. Albans? I wonder how they can find time to die!"
In ecclesiastical councils he was sought by churches near and remote. He attended about fifty ordinations, and in many instances was the appointed preacher. In cases of difficulty and division, his influence, counsel, and prayers were blessed to the restoration of peace in
In one of the remote churches in Vermont, a painful difficulty originated between two prominent members, which soon destroyed all Christian fellowship, and divided the church into parties. Neither the measures adopted by the discreet members of the church, nor the advice of several successive councils, had effected a reconciliation. The dissension became more alarming. At length it was resolved to call a council from distant churches. The council convened accordingly, and the Reverend Mr. Haynes was chosen moderator. Having ascertained the facts in the case, the moderator addressed the parties in a plain, conciliatory manner, and in
vited them to retire and settle the difficulty. They retired, but soon returned with unsubdued hearts and determined looks. The moderator perceived the deeprooted difficulty, and felt the importance of plain and faithful dealing. He arose and observed, "That we have all gone out of the way; that we all fail in living up to the Christian profession; that we often stand in the gap, and stop poor sinners from entering the kingdom of Christ. Oh! how important it must be for Christians to be active. How painful the thought that the Redeemer should be wounded in the house of his friends! Our time is short. What we do we must do quickly. Reason, experience, religion instruct us to do all in our power to administer comfort to those who abuse us. If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink, for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head. Forgive from the heart those who trespass against you. Oh, let us strive to make those who abuse us happy as we can while we live; for, if they do not repent, they must finally be pierced to the heart with an undying agony. What is life but death to him that destroys not his passions. With a bruised and humble heart, do, my friends, overcome these evil passions. Forgive one another-then the clear light of the Divine favour will illuminate your souls."
At this distance of time, only a very imperfect sketch of what was then said can now be given. Many of the beautiful illustrations and happy turns of expression, for which Mr. Haynes was distinguished on special occasions, are now lost from the memory; but they were not lost on the parties concerned in these unchristian divisions.
The effect of this affectionate and solemn appeal was indescribably happy. When the moderator closed his remarks, the parties were melted with tears. They took each other by the hand, made penitential confessions to each other and to the church. The whole church also arose simultaneously, and mutually made confessions. It was a blessed season. Tears of penitence flowed copiously. God was pleased to "pour upon them the spirit of grace and supplication, and they looked upon him whom they had pierced, and mourned for him as one mourneth for a first born." The church was thus reclaimed and humbled, and prepared for a heavenly visitation. A religious revival commenced immediately.
FROM MR. HAYNES TO THE PASTOR OF THE FIRST CHURCH IN GRANVILLE.
Rutland, January 12th, 1805.
VERY DEAR SIR,
It seems, for some reason, our correspondence has for a long time been interrupted. Whether it is not through criminal inattention, may be a serious question. May it again be revived? Granville being my former home, renders intelligence from thence interesting. I often hear from you, though not by letter. Were I at your house, your first inquiry would be-" How is religion among you?" I must answer,—Not as in days